Susan Green nearly ventured down a totally different career path and Paperkite almost wasn’t.
Although the Rhode Island native always had an interest in art and excelled at ceramics, film, fine art or the theory behind all of it, at the time it didn’t seem like a viable career path to her. In college, Susan hung up her creative ambitions for a while and studied literature, which proved to become a solid storytelling foundation for everything she does now.
And now, here’s the story of how Paperkite came to be through the passion and persistence of its fearless leader, Susan Green.
The Birth of Paperkite
The creative fire was always in her heart. Eventually, Susan returned back to her creative roots, studied design, worked at RDW Group in Rhode Island as a design intern, and took any freelance work she could get. Her persistence paid off and ultimately landed her first design job working for a wine and beer distributor. Susan then grew into a lead designer role at another agency for nearly five years after she moved from Rhode Island to Cooperstown.
After she left the agency after having her first child, she tried being a stay at home mom for about six months. Of course, the creative bug didn’t go away! Missing her design work, Susan began freelancing when a former colleague suggested they could collaboratively combine their design services.
And thus, Paperkite was born.
Transforming into the agency of today
Susan took over the reigns when her partner left the business after a year and relocated out west (although she continued to be a part of Paperkite for years after). Susan credits her partner’s encouragement for giving her the courage to start Paperkite. It’s been one of the best experiences and happiest chapters of her life.
“I don’t know if I would have had the courage to start a business otherwise if my partner hadn’t nudged me.”
Speaking of transformation…
After Susan and her partner decided to go into the agency business, they went through their own naming process, just as they would with any client. The two really wanted to focus on the concept of transformation – reshaping of their own careers and the creative direction of their clients, as they were both very passionate about branding. This led them to the idea of a butterfly, as a strong symbol of transformation. That’s when they came across “paperkite” which is a beautiful variety of “butterfly.” It instantly struck Susan because it was so evocative. The word brings to mind a soaring kite, flight, it’s light and airy. All amazing things!
“My oldest son says my superpower is “figuring things out” and that always makes me smile.”
Susan’s work inspiration comes from many different places. From new innovations, technologies and strategies to the work of other creative professionals, her work always feels spirited and never stagnant. But above all, it’s her team of smart and talented professionals, who makes her want to work harder, and clients, who are out there doing great things in our community whether it is the private or public sector that draws the main source of her inspiration.
What makes Paperkite different
Susan has built a team of 14, who collaborate extensively on nearly every account and project. They also are constantly trying to improve their skills, talents and processes, not taking the path of least resistance, evaluating their work and asking the tough question “how can we do better?”
“Founding Paperkite and watching it grow, has truly been one of the best experiences and happiest chapters of my life.”
Susan loves collaborating with others and is happiest when she’s working side by side with someone on the team or a client solving a problem, creating something, or even administrative work – working on a common goal.
Best pieces of marketing advice for decision makers
Susan highly encourages decision makers to:
- Be proactive in your marketing, rather than reactive.
- Take the time to outline your marketing goals for the year, who you are hoping to reach and what you would like to accomplish. Refer to it often to stay on track.
- Keep your goals simple. It doesn’t have to be a complicated document – just a place to gather your direction for the year so you don’t get off course. When you have something written down it keeps you on course, so you can evaluate opportunities and see if they are actually what you need.
BONUS! Fun facts about Susan:
- She LOVES to snowboard but hasn’t since she had kids. It’s her goal to get back on the slopes in 2018 with her three boys.
- She was in the marching band in her high school colorguard – the flag wavers.
- She speaks Spanish pretty well and studied in Spain in college.
- She loves to dance and studied tap and ballet until she was 10 (but she could still tap a number if she had to).
- She plays the drums.